The thing to keep in mind is that blogs aren’t newspapers. Rarely, I think, will a blog (often operated by a single person with limited time and energy) feel compelled to write about a press release. Duncan Black, the main writer of Atrios, has actually written about this and how frustrated he gets at companies, PR firms, etc. shooting him glossy press releases and expecting to receive coverage.
If you want coverage for a report or other produced material on a blog, the best thing to do is blog. Create a web space around the issue, and link to blogs you’d like to see read your material. Diving in takes time, like anything, and unless you have a compelling blog it won’t go anywhere. You might think about creating a diary on Daily Kos or another group site and writing up something about the report there if you don’t want to launch a full-fledged blog.
The important thing is, don’t think of blogs as newspapers you can just send press releases to, particularly one-person blogs like Duncan Black’s. Creating your own blog is much more effective.
I work at IDI where I specialize in blogger relations so I’m happy to add some quick insights!
- First, I agree with Adam. It has been well documented and often stated among bloggers that they do not respond to blanket press releases. Outreach materials must be tailored to their blog niche and be concise, punchy, and easily translated into a blog posting format.
- Bloggers like to post alternatives to text… Try sending images, maps, video, etc. when you can.
- Think about what’s in it for them – bloggers love exclusives and links back to their site.
- Start with some lower authority blogs for your outreach and get the buzz to grow from there. Then you can hit up the biggies (Kos, Atrios, HuffPo, etc.) with a few links from other bloggers to demonstrate the interest in the topic. As for success with these other bloggers, always do your reading to get a sense of the bloggers tone, interests, audience and then outreach on a personal level from there.
For what it’s worth, reporters increasingly ignore blanket press releases, too.
The collapsing financial health of the news media has left us pitching general assignment reporters who are a mile wide and an inch deep, and need things fed to them with a spoon — or various types of trade journalists who ignore everything outside of a very narrow spectrum of topics.
It’s important to build relationships with blog writers and editors just like you would with traditional reporters. This is key to getting bloggers to cover your issue/story.
* Regularly leave thoughtful blog comments that make them remember your
* Only write interesting or controversial blog posts and make it very
easy for visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed. Send trackbacks to the
target blog, and be sure to link to them so that they see your post(s)
in their referral logs, even if you have to rel=nofollow the link(s) to
* Twitter.com. If you can get the A-listers to follow you on Twitter
because you are interesting, it can eventually lead to good coverage and
inbound links. Set your blog to automatically post to your twitter, and
also write interesting tweets between your blog posts. (i.e., don’t
write tweets about what your cat ate for lunch)